Heineken to go head-to-head with Interbrew
Saturday 17 August 2002
Heineken yesterday unveiled plans to go head-to-head with Belgium's Interbrew in the UK beer market, axing the licensing deal Interbrew inherited when it bought Whitbread and taking control of selling and marketing its beer.
The move, which follows Heineken's failure to acquire Carling UK last year, will see the Dutch brewer replace its standard lager with its premium strength beer, pitting itself against Interbrew's market-leading Stella Artois lager, early next year. Britain was the last country where Heineken sold its lower alcohol brand – Heineken Cold Filtered.
The lager was introduced to the UK in the late Fifties to appeal to heavy-drinking industrial workers. It will be phased out next year, along with Heineken Export, in favour of Heineken's 5 per cent strength premium version.
Analysts were surprised by the Dutch brewer's decision to expand its UK operations rather than seek a tie-up with a different partner such as Scottish & Newcastle, the market leader.
"It's quite a costly way of going about business. They would have been better off buying a brewer with a good market share and strong relationship with both the off and on trade," Matthew Jordan, at ABN Amro, said.
Heineken said the move would cost it about€20m (£13m) in 2003 and it would be "a number of years" before the UK business reached break even. The brewer will import Heineken premium from the Netherlands but will more than triple its UK staff of 30 to help market the new brand.
Under a separate deal, Interbrew announced that from next January it would take over the UK licence for Castlemaine XXXX, the Australian lager brewed by Lion Nathan, from Carlsberg-Tetley. The deal bolsters the Belgian brewer's portfolio with a standard strength lager. Interbrew, the UK's third-largest brewer, said it would spend £9m relaunching Castlemaine.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
New York police shooting: thousands turn out for the funeral of Rafael Ramos
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...